White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a part of the sprawling Russian Federation investigation, despite initial objections, according to a new report from CNN. Axios and CNN reported earlier that White House officials expect Kelly to resign soon.
All this came the same day that Trump's re-election campaign announced that two veterans of the president's 2016 campaign, White House political director Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, the director of the office of public liaison, were leaving the administration to work on Trump's re-election campaign.
Trump confirmed his choices of William Barr to lead the Justice Department and Heather Nauert for the United Nations post as he left the White House, speaking to reporters over the din of the whirring blades of Marine One. "But John Kelly will be leaving towards the end of the year, at the end of the year". The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Trump has taken the unusual step of inviting Ayers to recently accompany him on Air Force One, even without Pence present, the people said.
Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, has emerged as the clear favorite to replace Kelly.
A source told Reuters last month that Trump was considering a replacement for Kelly.
Ayers, 36, is considered more politically attuned than Kelly, a retired general who is 68.
Kelly, too, has made no secret of the trials of his job and has often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he'd done before, including on the battlefield.
A source explained that the men 'know that they are 17 months into what has been a very tumultuous relationship, ' adding: 'It is no longer seen as sustainable by either party'.
Trump and Kelly have privately argued at times and complained about each other to confidants, sometimes in colorful language.
Trump had nothing but praise for the two new Cabinet members who he announced Friday he would nominate.
Both the attorney general and United Nations ambassador positions require Senate confirmation.
Trump is further expected to announce Heather Nauert as the new United States ambassador to the UN on Friday, replacing Nikki Haley.